A statement posted on a Web site Thursday claimed that Al-Qaida in Iraq had launched missiles at Israel from Lebanon as part of a “new attack” on the Jewish state.
“The lion sons of al-Qaida launched ... a new attack on the Jewish state by launching 10 missiles ... from the Muslims’ lands in Lebanon on selected targets in the north of the Jewish state,” said the statement, which was attributed to Al-Qaida in Iraq.
It appeared to be the first claim of responsibility from al-Qaida for an attack on Israel from Lebanon. The statement could not be authenticated, but was posted on a Web site frequently used by Iraqi insurgent groups.
A senior Israeli security source questioned the claim. “For this to be true, it would mean that al-Qaida, a virulently anti-Shiite group, has penetrated the heartland of Hezbollah, a virulent Shiite group, on such a scale that it can mount a rocket salvo independently,” the source said. “This claim should be regarded with extreme scepticism.”
The statement did not give the date of the attack.
It was not immediately clear if the group was referring to a rocket strike Tuesday that wounded three people in an Israeli border town, or some other attack.
Israeli warplanes attacked a Palestinian guerrilla group’s training camp in Lebanon in response to that rocket attack.
“This auspicious attack was a response by the mujahedeen (holy fighters) to the oath by the mujahid sheik Osama bin Laden, leader of al-Qaida ... which the (Jews) and idolaters’ servants in Muslim countries failed to grasp. The future shall be more bitter and more harsh,” said the statement.
In August, Al-Qaida in Iraq said it was behind a failed rocket attack on U.S. Navy ships in Jordan’s Red Sea port of Aqaba.